A belt is a fashion accessory and a belt buckle is an accessory for a
belt. They can be strictly functional and plain in appearance or extremely
ornate. A women's belt buckle can help define her outfit.
Women have a wide selection of style options.
- Western / Cowgirl
- Love & Hearts
- Letters, Numbers & Symbols
- Skeleton & Skulls
- and more design options
A belt buckle is a buckle, a clasp for fastening two ends, such as of
straps or a belt, in which a device attached to one of the ends is fitted
or coupled to the other.
Frame-style buckles are the oldest design. In a frame-and-prong
buckle the prong attaches to one end of the frame and extends "away" from
the wearer through a hole in the belt, where it anchors against the opposite
side of the frame. The oldest styles have a simple loop or "D" shaped frame
(A D-ring is an item of hardware, usually a tie-down metal ring shaped like
the letter D used primarily as a lashing point), but "double-loop" or "center
post" buckles whose prongs attach to a fixed center section appear in the
8th century. Very small buckles with removable center pins and chapes were
introduced and used on shoes, beginning in the 17th century, but not often
for waist-belts. A "chape" is the fixed cover or plate which attaches buckle
to belt while the "mordant" or "bite" is the adjustable portion.
Plate-style buckles are common on western military belts
of the mid-19th century, which often feature a three-hook clasp: two hooks
fitting into one end of the belt and a third into the other. Officers might
have a similar but more intricate clasp-style closure that featured two
interlocking metal parts. In practice, the term "belt plate" refers to any
flat, decorated surface on such a clasp. These precede development of modern
"western-style" buckles, which feature a hinged frame affixed to one end
of the belt and a simple hook clasp which enters the belt hole toward the
wearer but leaves most of the buckle on the "outside" of the belt, providing
an ample surface for decoration. The distance between the fixed frame or
chape of a plate buckle and its adjustment prong is called the "throw."
Box-out buckles make the traditional belt seen today.
Usually made with an enduring leather or other synthetic material as the
band, these belt buckles are less functional but more fashionable.
Box-frame buckles are another, 20th-century style of
military friction buckle, common on web belts. The box-frame buckle consists
of three parts (front, back and post). An adjustable captive post sits perpendicular
to the belt to press it against the outer "box," which completely surround
the webbing and minimize accidental adjustments should part of the belt
snag on something. There may or may not be a metal tip on the opposite "tongue"
end of the belt for easier insertion.
Belt buckles are made from a wide variety of materials from inexpensive
to luxurious. You can find plastic buckles to gold buckles.
Below are a few of the various belt buckle materials available.
Zinc / Zinc Allow: Zinc is softer than steel and
is easily poured into molds or cast into various shapes. Its good corrosion
Brass & Bronze alloys: Brass is an alloy of
copper and zinc. Bronze is an alloy of copper and tin.
Stainless Steel alloys have many formulations and
often include chromium, nickel, and molybdenum – chromium gives the
metal its scratch resistance, nickel provides a smooth and polished
finish, molybdenum gives greater hardness.
Silver (Ag) and Sterling Silver are too soft to
use for producing functional objects, therefore are usually alloyed
with copper or other metals to enhance durability. Other metals may
include germanium, zinc, and platinum as well as other additives such
as silicon and boron.
- and more.
Earlier, military-style buckles often use friction and are designed for
use with cloth belts or straps. Simple friction buckles are one-piece frames
with no prong whatsoever, the strap or belt winding through a series of
slots, and may more technically be called "belt slides" or "belt trims."
Belt buckles became more popular as fashion accessories in the early
20th century, as the tops of trousers moved more toward the waist. "Western-style"
belt buckles were largely popularized by cowboy movies in the United States.
Cowgirls look great in western style belt buckles.
Did you see the
women's belt section?
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